For Elisa (Para Elisa)



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80 mins

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2.5 / 5

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Jordi Carbonell

The mode of fairytale gothic is expertly rendered in the apartment set, which seems more time-capsule than living space - a doll's house hermetically sealed from historical realities. Yet if Fernández gets the atmosphere creepily right, the story itself feels padded, with much of the relatively brief duration filled out by Alex's frantic search for Ana (including not one but two visits to the police station). The lack of narrative economy suggests that For Elisa might have worked better as a short film. As for the title, referencing the piece Für Elise that Diamantina plays to calm her traumatised daughter, it just goes to prove the principle, already well established in A Clockwork Orange (1971), Class of 1984 (1982) and The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael (2005), that a cultured love of Beethoven need not preclude a propensity towards a bit of the old ultraviolence.